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Food for Living: Direction is Better than Speed



Greetings Friends,

I strongly believe we have adjusted to or settled well in 2019. We are in the second quarter of the year and gradually approaching the second half of the year. Some of us made resolutions early this year and have achieved some of our plans while working on the rest, while some of us are yet to achieve our goals. Regardless of where you are, just keep striving for success in addition to adjusting to the needs of the world. You can do this by learning, unlearning and relearning. According to Alvin Toffler “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learnunlearn, and relearn.” If you are yet to make an impact in 2019 in your business, academic or personal life, a pertinent question you have to ask yourself is am I treading in the right direction or am I just moving in motion?

Today we shall be discussing direction and speed and how it can affect our productivity in life both personal, academic, professional, social, business and life in general. The world is truly a small village where everyone is connected in one way or another. The interesting thing about this 21st century is the effect of digital technology. The world seems to be moving in a fast pace environment. The question you really want to ask yourself is, who am I? What am I passionate about? Where would I like to be or end up? What are my values, mission, and vision towards life? These are some of the questions we would be discussing in order to move ahead in life.

Direction basically means the management or guidance of someone or something, while speed is the rate at which someone or something is able to move or operate. Speed or movement often doesn’t equate or lead to acceleration. What matters is how productive you are. This is because you might be busy doing nothing.  In order to appreciate this topic, you need to position your mind towards your vision. In your journey towards life, you need to ask yourself what do I want to achieve as a student, professional, or business owner.

Before we go into the meat of the conversation, I will like to ask you a question, are you happy where you are now? If no, are the action steps you are taking to achieve your goals taking you in the direction of success? If no, I think it will be right to examine the need to go back to the drawing board.

One of the greatest pain that can befall a progressive mind is investing your time and resources into a project only to discover that you had the wrong tools to execute the project. Just imagine if you are farmer planting your seed in a wrong soil or season. The effort can be likened to being a fruitless effort.

Furthermore, imagine yourself driving with a Global Positioning System (GPS), and you miss an exit due to speed or not paying enough attention to the direction. This singular act could lead to extra miles depending on the nature of the road. That’s why it is very important to pay attention to details. If you will agree with me, driving is not an easy task because you need to be focused otherwise you’ll miss the lights. For example, the green signals you to move ahead, the yellow signs signal you to be cautious while the red signs mean you have to stop. If you can comprehend this thought process, you should be in a better position to plan wisely.

We all know that to have a successful creative life, you need passion, perseverance, and grit. You need that drive deep within yourself that literally can’t be without creativity, for without it, you may as well not exist. It’s the same way writers feel about writing, or actors feel about acting. But then, they know the path they want to thread and end up in life all things being equal.

Accomplishing any major feat in life requires passion, energy, and sacrifice to truly succeed. Sometimes, you do what you have to do. For instance, if you are interested in a particular industry, common sense entails you do internships and volunteer in order to gain insight and experience in the industry.  I have seen people who took a cut just to learn a particular trade at the expense of high paying jobs waving at them. These are the truly great minds who know what they truly want in life. Let’s take the case of the Former President of USA, Barack Obama, after his law school education, he had juicy appointments from Wall Street, he left those high paying jobs for community work which he’s passionate about. It was during this time that that other great minds and interested persons saw his passion and heart for service. They not only nurtured him, but they gave him opportunities and believed in him. Today, the rest is history.

Every company or organization normally take stock of their products from time to time to examine their books and business to know if they are moving in the right direction as opposed to following the bang wagon. In the same vein, you have to ask yourself the same question(s) to determine if you are in the right path to our dreams, mission and vision in life.

As human beings, we are always in a haste to get things done. Some of us don’t have the patience to go through the right training to get things done. This training involves preparation and examination to access how far we have come in life and where we intend to go.  In order to succeed in life, you need to be focused, you need to listen to great minds especially people who have gone through the route you want to embark upon. You also need people with insightful ideas for mentorship.

One of the greatest reasons why most people fail in life is because they fail to listen to advice. Some of them don’t even evaluate their plan. Let’s see the relativity and difference between direction and speed. According to Abraham Lincoln, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.  Abraham Lincoln is merely telling us about the importance of preparation in life. Isn’t it true that failing to prepare is preparing to fail?

The direction you are heading is more important than the speed you are moving to get there, it makes no sense worrying about how long you are taking to achieve your goals. The point is, are you going in the right direction?

It is pertinent to note that there’s no competition in life, we all walk at our pace and time. To truly succeed in any field of life, it’s important to know your needs and when to do the needful. This is because failing to prepare is preparing to fail. You must know your niche, your audience and yourself, otherwise, you may hit the rock. According to Oyindamola Johnson, the Founder, and C.E.O of Elevate Your Game, “Don’t let the “perceived” movement, success, speed, or achievements of others put you under any pressure, let you be in haste, or make you lose sight of your own progress and journey. In the race of life, there’s no collective start or end point. Each one starts their own race at their own time and on their own pace. Someone running on a treadmill and another running a marathon are both “moving”, one is, however, on one spot, while the other is accelerating”.

So how do you stay on track and in the right direction?

§  Slow things down, and don’t rush the process.

§  Don’t compare yourself to others, focus on your goals. Don’t get distracted by what others are churning out.

§  Don’t be afraid to ‘waste time’ trying new things or making mistakes. It’s part of figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t, which defines your direction.

§  Set mini goals and revisit them regularly, but meet them in your own time.

§  If you find yourself stressed and overwhelmed then take a break. It’s that simple. The world is not going to end if you miss a post or if a job is taking longer then you thought.

In summary, celebrate the small wins daily, be inspired by others, but own your race, story, journey and keep moving because at the end of the day, it is not how far, but how well.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with New York City Department of Correction as the legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success.

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2023: Sam Ohuabunwa Gets Abia PDP’s Nod on Presidential Ambition



Convener of the New Nigeria Group (NNG), Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, has taken his quest to contest the presidency in 2023 a notch higher following his recent interaction with chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State.

Ohuabunwa at the party’s Secretariat in Umuahia, and conscious that charity begins at home, held talks with members of the State Working Committee and the State Executive Committee, in a deft move described as ‘political alignment’.

Those privy to the meeting said the presidential hopeful shared with his home chapter, his vision to transform Nigeria to a first world country, and his aspiration to contest the presidency during the 2023 general elections.

Insiders at the meeting said Ohuabunwa’s message was well received by the party stalwart, who encouraged him, while also extolling his personal qualities as a ‘sellable candidate.’

The party’s top wigs, it was also learned, confirmed that Ohuabunwa is the first, and so far the only aspirant, who has notified them of his ambition.

On that basis, the party leaders resolved to give Ohuabunwa – President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and former Chairman of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) – the support he deserves.

Ohuabunwa had declared his intention to contest the presidency in 2023, promising to cure Nigeria of despondency by implementing the policies articulated through the NNG.

Interestingly with the NNG, Ohuabunwa has amassed an unprecedented followership cutting across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), so much that he is being courted across political divide.

On a regular basis, he gets invited from different parts of the country to share his vision for Nigeria amid large audience.

At every turn, his message resonates hope among the citizens from all walks of life, hence he is continually being encouraged to vie for the highest office.

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Why Shutting Down Internet to Fight Kidnapping is Wrong



By Joel Popoola

Nigerians may not object to internet shutdowns to stop kidnapping. But did we object to SARS being set up to stop robbery?

No-one would object to the government doing everything in its power to stop the kidnapping gangs terrorising Nigeria’s northern regions and tarnishing our international reputation.

That’s why the residents of Zamfara seem to be broadly supportive of the week-long internet shutdown, initiated as part of a recent security crackdown.

More than nine million Zamfarans were cut off from the internet for several days, as security forces hunted for the kidnap-for-ransom squads who have been plaguing the areas.

“I’m in full support of the ban” one resident told CNN. “Before now, everyone has been living in fear because of the bandits.”

But no-one would object to the idea of specialist police unit being set up to tackle robbery either.

And we all know what happened with SARS.

Internet and social media shutdowns are becoming a more and more pervasive tactic of African leaders stemming and suppressing the flow of information and opinion online – commonly during elections.

These shutdowns are self-defeating, leading to more – not less –unrest, not to mention human rights violations (and international condemnations), elections lacking in credibility at home and abroad, and as we have seen with Nigeria’s disastrous attempts at banning Twitter – economic loss.

We cannot fall into the trap of accepting dangerous measures when they are deployed to deliver desirable ends. This makes it more likely we will instinctively accept if they are used to destroy democracy.

Think of it as frogs in boiling water. If you put a frog in boiling water it will jump out. If you put it in cold water and heat it to boiling it will do nothing until it is too late.

At the digital democracy campaign I lead we have previously called for Nigeria to show continental leadership and amend our constitution to guarantee that our citizens will never have their access to the internet unreasonably or unavoidably restricted.

We are doing that again now.
Nations such as Greece and Costa Rica have already taken this step. But we could be the first in Africa.

This simple move could have a profoundly positive impact on public trust in Nigerian democracy too – trust which study after study has shown to be worryingly low.

If you need proof, just look at the recently published results of a major survey conducted by the African Polling Institute.

The study found that 63% Nigerians scored Federal Government “poor” on fight against corruption and 53% of our citizens believe that impunity thrives in the current administration. 83% also believe impunity amongst government officials is ‘increasing’.

The survey also found social cohesion to be under average in Nigerian. And an internet-protection clause in our constitution could improve that too.

As I have previously said, just think of the impact if Nigerian politicians of all parties and ethnicities came together as one to say the same thing. In 2021, and beyond, internet access is a fundamental human right. And if we put that in our construction we are saying loudly and clearly this: Though we believe in different things, we are all committed to the same democratic values. And we are enshrining this value in law.

At the digital democracy campaign, our primary aim is to employ digital technology to improve Nigeria’s democracy.

We have created a free app – Rate Your Leader – which puts verified voters in direct contact with their elected leaders allowing them to build two-way relationships of trust and transparency and to work together to improve both our communities and our country.

Rate Your Leader lets politicians know what is happening in their areas and what matters most to the people who elect them. It also allows voters to get important information directly from local leaders.

If you have leaders that voters trust, feel connected to, believe share their values and who can demonstrate they are immediately responsive to the needs of the people who elect them, you can build a co-operative collaborative nation, united in the national interest.

This kind of two-way communication, built on honesty and transparency, is what unites us as a nation and let us work together to build a better future. This is the communication democracy needs in the digital age.

Not internet shutdowns.

Joel Popoola is a Nigerian tech entrepreneur, digital democracy campaigner and is creator of the free Rate Your Leader app. He can be reached via @JOPopoola

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Army Apologises to Corps Member Molested by Commissioned Officer



By Eric Elezuo

The Nigerian Army has apologised to a Corps Member, identified as Ezeiruaku Ifeanyinwa Fidelis, who was seen in a viral video being molested by female soldier, identified as Let Chika Viola Anele.

In a statement signed by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, the army notes that the actions of the said officer was ‘highly unprofessional and unacceptable’, adding that the erring officer has been ‘identified and sanctioned on the interim and would be made to undergo regimental orders (trial) in line with the extant provisions of the Armed Forces Act.’

The statement also denied rumours that the army intended sweeping the matter under the carpet, stressing that the Force has zero tolerance for indiscipline.

Read the detailed statement:


The Nigerian Army (NA) has taken cognizance of a video clip currently making the rounds on the social media, where a female officer was seen dehumanizing a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Calabar, Cross River State. This act is not only condemnable, but unprofessional and against established precepts of discipline in the NA.

The NA has remained undoubtedly the pride of the nation, a symbol of national unity that has consistently being in the vanguard of respect for the fundamental human rights of the citizenry. It is against this premise that the NA condemns this unimaginable level of infraction by a personnel in its ranks. The NA therefore, condemns in strong terms, this act of gross misconduct. Undoubtedly, the officer’s actions has caused the NA monumental embarrassment and is highly regrettable. This unfortunate act of indiscipline does not in anyway represent the NA and will not be condoned in its entirety.

For the records, the ugly incident happened in 13 Brigade, Calabar. The Brigade Commander immediately instituted an investigation and the officer involved has been identified and sanctioned on the interim and would be made to undergo regimental orders (trial) in line with the extant provisions of the Armed Forces Act. The submission that the Brigade attempted covering up was therefore misleading, as the NA remains a professional force that has zero tolerance for indiscipline amongst its personnel.

The NA wishes to reiterate and assure the general public that such infractions would not be tolerated from its personnel. The NA also reassures that the rights of the citizenry is sacrosanct and must be respected by all personnel of the NA, as any form of infraction will be severely dealt with. Therefore, the general public is enjoined to continue to report such infractions, as Human Rights Desks in all formations of the NA are emplaced to deal decisively with such erring personnel.

The NA further wishes to tender unreserved apology to the victim, her family members, friends, National Youth Service Corps and to Nigerians in general for the unwholesome treatment meted out to the Corps member.

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